With offices in the UK and US, Cooper Roller Bearings needed a CRM system to streamline its sales activities and manage sales pipelines effectively through a single location, at national and international level. With Infor CRM integration, Copper Roller Bearings achieved all its objectives.

In summary, the Infor CRM integration has enabled Cooper to:

  • Streamline internal and external sales activities and manage sales pipelines effectively through a single location, at national and international level
  • Integrate ERP and CRM systems, eliminating the need to duplicate administrative input
  • Make better informed decisions and cut back on non-added value activities
  • Increase sales productivity by automating the CRM system, increasing visibility of every customer communication and offering an enhanced personal touch

Disjointed systems

Andy Hattigan is Cooper’s IT Manager, based at Kings Lynn in the UK. Prior to the installation of Infor CRM (Saleslogix), the company had been using a competitor CRM solution. But, as Andy explains, it was proving far from ideal.

“For a start it was a non-integrated solution,” he says. “So there was a significant amount of effort involved in keeping our sales people up to date with activities. Customers usually contact our inside sales direct but, with the old system, we had to send out paper copies of everything to external sales - or they’d have to call the office for the information. There was also a lot of time-consuming dual-keying, firstly into the CRM system and then into the ERP system.”

In 2006 Cooper Roller Bearings carried out a survey to identify staff issues with a view to upgrading the existing system or migrating to a solution that would create a better fit and integrate with their ERP system. “We ignored any particular product,” Andy explains, “and simply asked our user base ‘what do you need? What are you looking for?’ We then took the feedback, came up with a ‘shopping list’ and went out to market to look for a suitable CRM system.

“Back in the mid-1990s we’d been using Act CRM. The guys at the time liked it so we figured that an Act-type system was worth looking at. We compared various products and Infor CRM seemed to tick around 80-per-cent of the boxes. With some modifications, we believed it could tick a good 90-per-cent. So we decided to go with that.”

Seamless integration

“We chose Xperience Group because they were a fairly local supplier,” Andy continues. “They’d also won a number of awards so they obviously had a good reputation. The software was installed and slightly customised witht a few personalisation tweaks.”

With offices across the world, the new solution needed to perform at international level. “We took someone from Xperience to the States to do a workshop with our US office to make sure we understood their requirements,” says Andy. “We then had a meeting in the UK to make sure we understood the requirements over here and in our European offices.”

Following installation, Andy trained his external sales staff on the basics. “But internally there was very little training required. Having gone for an integrated solution, inside sales didn’t really have to do anything CRM-wise. They’d simply key a new quote / customer into the ERP system and Infor CRM would grab the information automatically. No more dual-keying!

“We later expanded Infor CRM even further to incorporate our parent company’s other business. So we’ve now got two ERP systems feeding into Infor and two different sales teams using it. It all seems to work pretty seamlessly.”

Real-time visibility

Which department has benefited the most? “Probably outside sales,” says Andy. “The management team have got total visibility of their users and activities so they’ve been able to cut back on some of the old paper trails.

“It’s also improved customer service. Now, when we look at an account, we can see the last enquiry, the last order and so on. In the past external sales would have had to ring into the office for this information. Everyone is just much more productive, focusing on value-added jobs rather than repeating what should already be known.

“From an inside sales point of view there are less interruptions. We’ve also stripped out many of the tasks that didn’t add value. For example there are fewer reports being issued, less postage costs and so forth. Plus we’ve done some joint sales initiatives with the US, with our other business. We’ve got a US salesman that deals with bearings from us and from the other company. He can access everything at a single point which speeds up the process enormously.

“In conclusion, Infor CRM has achieved everything we set out to do. It’s allowed us to share information and be more effective from a sales and customer relationship perspective. It’s a tool that our sales teams very much rely on now.

“Xperience have been excellent. Their people have been knowledgeable and can generally fix any issues very quickly. Everyone that we’ve spoken to has a very good understanding of the product from sales, project management through to support. So, overall, we are very happy.”

About Cooper Roller Bearings

With offices in the UK and US plus representation worldwide, Cooper Roller Bearings are experts in the design, manufacture and supply of specialist bearings made in England. Additionally, the company pioneers development and manufacturing at world-class level, saving thousands of businesses significant installation and maintenance downtime costs.